By Onno W. Steenbeek, S. G. Fieke van der Lecq

The Dutch pension procedure is usually praised as the best on this planet: it's effective, it offers sure bet to contributors and it preserves harmony and cohesion between employees and pensioners. This publication offers those merits intimately, supported through quantitative facts. It additionally discusses the features of the approach which are much less beneficial, besides the fact that, comparable to implicit price transfers from more youthful to older generations that restrict mobility of labour. The analyses of either merits and prices might help pension fund managers, forums of trustees, supervisors, and researchers to appreciate and to enhance pension platforms at present in position worldwide.

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The debate about making premiums more dependent on claims risk also touches on intergenerational solidarity, as a higher age entails a higher risk 3 Solidarity: who cares? 45 of disease. However, with this policy option, other risk factors such as obesity can also be taken into account. People who generate extra health profits and/or cost reductions by leading a healthy lifestyle could then qualify for a premium discount or lower co-payment. Substantial wealth gains can in principle be achieved in this way (Bhattacharya and Sood, 2005).

47 Literature Beer, P. ’, in E. de Jong and M. Buijsen, Solidariteit onder druk? Over de grens tussen individuele en collectieve verantwoordelijkheid, Nijmegen: Valkhof Pers, 2005. Berg, B. T. ’, Economisch Statistische Berichten (88) 4413: pp. 420-422, 2003. Battacharya, J. and N. Sood, Health insurance and the obesity externality, Working Paper 11 529, NBER, 2005. , ‘Solidariteit, rechtvaardigheid en de zorg om gezondheid’, Filosofie & Praktijk (26)5, pp. 5-18, 2005. M. and E. Meara, The medical costs of the young and the old: a forty year perspective, Working Paper 6114, NBER, 1997.

Consequently, any solidarity elements in pension schemes should not be open-ended (and therefore uncontrollable) but closed-ended with pre-determined quantitative floors and ceilings. A second conclusion is that any surpluses at a pension institution basically belong to, or are attributable to, those participants who paid for these surpluses. 8 New entrants have no legal or moral claim to an existing surplus. Conversely, shortfalls are the responsibility of the participants who caused or allowed these deficits to arise during their participation and should not burden new entrants.

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